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PNS Daily Newscast - January 22, 2018 


The funding stumble in Congress deepens the crisis for health centers; also on our nationwide rundown; we will let you know about concerns over possible "gifts" to payday lenders; and a new survey provides alarming numbers about young people and homelessness.

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Sportsmen Stand Up to Defend BLM 2.0

Sportsmen and conservation groups are crying foul over moves in Congress to overturn new U.S. Bureau of Land Management rules. (Pixabay)
Sportsmen and conservation groups are crying foul over moves in Congress to overturn new U.S. Bureau of Land Management rules. (Pixabay)
February 13, 2017

DENVER -- A coalition of sportsmen and conservation groups is standing up for the Bureau of Land Management's new land-use planning policies after the U.S. House invoked a rarely used rule to roll back the initiative. The Senate is expected to vote on eliminating the rules next week.

Suzanne O’Neill, executive director at the Colorado Wildlife Federation, said the rules ensure public input from the get-go on the multiple uses of public lands and benefit oil, gas, timber and outdoor recreation industries alike.

"This is good for everybody,” O’Neill said, "because under the rule, everyone can participate in identifying potential conflicts - or real conflicts - and then roll up our sleeves and try to figure out what are the options for resolving them."

If the Senate follows the House's lead and overturns what has been called BLM 2.0, the Congressional Review Act prohibits the bureau from issuing similar rules in the future. O'Neill said that would undermine years of work by industry, outdoor enthusiasts and conservation groups to improve the bureau's operations.

With the nation's attention fixed on a flurry of actions taken by the White House, O'Neill said it's important to keep an eye on what's happening in Congress and in state legislatures.

"People who care about keeping our public lands public need to pay attention,” she said, "because otherwise these sorts of bills will continue."

Last week's move by the House to eliminate BLM 2.0 came on the heels of a rule change that could pave the way for states to take control of publicly owned lands, and a measure - introduced by Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz - that would remove law enforcement authority from both the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO